Sunday, May 24, 2009

7 HR Tips for an Economic Downturn

Getting the best from existing staff and managing the opportunities and threats recessions bring in terms of employment and recruitment will prove vital to small businesses.

Key survival tactics for the current economic downturn will be achieving financial savings while retaining an engaged workforce with the skills to steer your organisation through the tough times and successfully out the other side.

Adapting HR activities in response to these pressures will contribute to your organisation remaining cost effective, competitive and in a position to exploit opportunities presented by adjustments to labour markets.

As human behaviour generally becomes more risk averse in turbulent times it is likely fewer people will consider a voluntary job move. Review the impact of this change on your planned recruitment and training budgets/activities for 2009/10.

Attendance Management
If you have a higher than average level of sickness absence reinvigorate your attendance management practices, typically this will reduce absence by up to 20%.

Employee Engagement
Maintain through these tough times to retain your competitive edge. Provide clear leadership and direction and engage with your people in periods of change, if making redundancies devise a strategy to ensure survivors remain engaged.

Learning & Development
When evaluating L&D ask if all activities remain current, what new skills & competencies are required for next 12-24 months and consider more cost effective forms of delivery such as developing in-house trainers or e-learning.

Pay & Benefits
Are they affordable and in-line with your employment market competitors? Many employers are reviewing occupational sick pay entitlement, contractual hours and annual increase mechanisms.

Ensure your procedure and selection criteria enable you to retain employees with the skills to deal with the challenges over the next 12-18 months. Consider alternatives such as sabbaticals, secondments and part-time working.

If you have vacancies pursue and exploit the current labour market adjustments. There are big pockets of redundant workers with excellent transferable skills and competencies

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